11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 25, 2013 4:39 PM by Jo!
Jo! Level 1 Level 1

Is there a way to export my ics files (export from ical) to a db-format like numbers (spreadsheet) of filemaker?


I own a business and the tax-office in the Netherlands wants me to show how many hours I send on my business. I said 'you must be joking, I have something better to do'. But they are serious and haven't entered the 21st century yet apparently!



iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1), 2.7 GHz intel i5 core 27 inch
  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9

    You aren't going to find this easy. You can import an ics file into Filemaker Pro simply by dragging it onto the program's icon, but what you get is a single record with a field for each line. Each event is identified by fields containing 'BEGIN:VEVENT' AND 'END:VEVENT' so you would need to convert these to a return and all the other returns to tabs. Even then if there isn't a summary (note) the field is omitted so you wouldn't get the fields in the right places.


    I don't know whether there's a program which will convert them - you could Google for that.

  • Jo! Level 1 Level 1

    the google-option has been explored of course. That's why I put it here.

    Dare to mention ... maybe there is a windhose version?

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9

    Not sure what you can do about this with Google.

  • Jo! Level 1 Level 1

    Either you are pulling my leg, in which case I would suggest to go somewhere Els, or you are serious in your answer. Either way, a good idea to reconsider.

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9

    Sorry, I misread your answer - I was thinking of Google Calendar... if you can't find a conversion process then I'm afraid there isn't really much you can do. You could try opening the .ics file in Pages and converting the 'End' fields to a return, then all the returns to tabs, then saving as a plain text file which could be opened as a database or spreadsheet: this would then open each entry as a record but you will still have a lot of difficulty getting it to make sense.

  • Jo! Level 1 Level 1

    I already had a look at this. ... wont work, too much jibbrish.

    No it needs a converter

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9

    The best I could find was these pages:






    The link to Felix Chenier's converter in the second page is broken but Sunbird is stil available - might be worth a look.

  • Jo! Level 1 Level 1

    yes I contacted Felix. It was an alpha-project, and he dropped it.

    Sunbird does 'work', but it is crappy software and the output is very messy. Still it is a start


    I wonder why this is such a hazard.

    I cannot believe I am the first one to check this out. I need it for my business.

    I hate to believe that I zctually need seperate planning software.

  • Jo! Level 1 Level 1

    maybe there is a windoze version somewhere. Parallels still works (though I am not too fond of that)

  • jmedema_surefoot Level 1 Level 1

    Actually, this IS completely possible using FileMaker and not very complicated!


    After exporting a calendar from iCal and dragging the file onto the FileMaker icon, the events will import as thousands of individual records. From here it simply becomes an exercise in parsing the data from multiple records into individual event records using a FileMaker script


    In a nutshell, your script should:

    • Start at the first record
    • Capture desired data from raw ICS data records into variables for temporary storage between the start and end of each event (between BEGIN:VEVENT and END:VEVENT) while deleting records with data that you don't need
    • Once you reach the end of your event, create a new record in a separate table and set the event title, event date, start and end times (which can be used to calculate the total hours), and any other fields you need from the temporary variables.
    • Clear the variables
    • Return to the original table and loop through this same process until you reach (and delete) the last record in the raw ICS import


    I exported one of my calendars and, when imported into FileMaker there were over 47,000 records. I ran one parsing routine that took just a minute or two.


    To properly pull your data so that you could report to the tax office would take a few hours (2-3?) to program and test so you could get the raw data. To format it for reporting to the tax office would take a bit longer.


    Unfortunately, this FileMaker development my business and cannot do this for for free, though I hope to have helped you along at least a bit. Contact me separately if you'd like to discuss this more offline. You contact me via the surefootdata website.


    All the best,



  • Jo! Level 1 Level 1

    jmedema_surefoot wrote:


    Actually, this IS completely possible using FileMaker and not very complicated!




    Unfortunately, this FileMaker development my business

    Hello Jim,

    Thank you for responding.

    Yes, it is 'unfortunate'  (-:

    Anyway, you think it were possible that suc a script wold be available already?

    It does not sound difficult. But I am no longer a FMwizzard (I do not heve the time)

    So trying this is, for the moment not an option.

    I'll send you a message.